If you’re one of those citizens still with the conscientious stamina to follow the daily news flood (and you must be if you’re reading this), you could be forgiven for thinking Americans protest pretty much anything and everything in existence — the National Anthem, guns, pipelines, flag, fake news, police, Congress, you-name-it. We even have protests of protests.
It turns out, however, that only a small minority of us even consider protesting something. Hard to believe probably. But barely one-in-three Americans has ever even considered protesting something.
What’s easier to believe is that the overwhelming majority of that minority are liberals.
Yup, a Gallup Poll confirms your suspicion that the Left is more often moved to publicly oppose something, anything, than are conservatives, way more likely.
Only 36 percent of Americans report having “ever felt the urge to organize or participate in a public demonstration about something,” the poll finds.
But — here it comes — of that crowd, more than half of Democrats (51 percent) and nearly two-out-of-three liberals (60 percent) get that urge to take such a public action. By contrast, political moderates (36 percent) and conservatives (21 percent) are not angry enough to consider such action.
Women (43 percent) are far more likely to think about protesting than are men (28 percent) — especially if they have a college degree (46 percent) or a graduate degree (58 percent). The most frequently-cited reason for protesting nowadays is women’s issues. That attracted 43 percent of those women moved to protest.
Immigration and gun control are tied for second place among reasons for protesting with a three-way tie for third place — President Trump and his family, civil rights and the environment.
Interestingly, these results are actually quite different than those from a previous Gallup survey in the mid-sixties, perhaps a reflection of today’s increased political polarization.
Back then, the partisan difference in the urge to protest was virtually negligible — nine percent Democrats and 10 percent Republicans, even during the wartime Democrat administration of Lyndon Johnson.
That’s a large 30-point difference from today’s 21-51 GOP-Democrat urge to protest during a — oh, look — Republican presidential administration.